Contributions of psychological science to enhancing law enforcement agencies’ response to intimate partner violence

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Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

Police Psychology: New Trends in Forensic Psychological Science



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This chapter focuses on the contribution of psychological science to the improvement of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) procedures and police officers’ skills when responding to intimate partner violence (IPV). Specifically, a review of the most important violence risk factors and evidence based risk assessment tools is presented, along with the necessary safety planning and risk management procedure. Moreover, the chapter covers strategies and skills that help police officers’ in communicating effectively with IPV victims. The authors reflect on the consequences of exposure to IPV on child wellbeing and development and state that this is another facet of the problem that needs attention when responding to this crime. After presenting a study on the perceptions of victims, police officers and experts about the competencies needed when responding to IPV, the results show that LEAs need to invest more time in police training and education. The authors conclude that incorporating more psychological research in police training schemes will help in achieving more effective and coordinated responses to IPV.


Communication skills, Domestic violence, Intimate partner violence, Law enforcement agencies, Policing, Risk assessment, Safety planning


Justice Studies; Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences